Players, Coaches Brace For Hot Practices

By Toni Miles - bio | email

BILOX, MS (WLOX) - "We did have a player yesterday that had mild heat exhaustion, you know we got him cooled down, and he's out here today. We're just holding him out of practice today to be cautious," said Biloxi High Football Coach Steve Jones.

At Biloxi High School, winning is important, but so is keeping its athletes safe from the heat, especially during football practice.

"We let them hydrate as much as they want. We let them drink as much water as they need, especially during really hot days in August," Coach Jones said.

Head Coach Steve Jones says none of his players have ever died of heat stroke, but he keeps a close eye out for symptoms of heat exhaustion.

"Really, just really sweating a lot, or if he's quit sweating, you know, those are the same things we look for, the same symptoms of heat stroke. Sometimes, they get that hollow look in their eyes," Coach Jones said.

Keeping healthy and hydrated isn't just limited to the field.

"With this time of year, the big kids, you need to watch them, the bigger guys. And then just the kids staying away from sodas and caffeine, because those are dehydrants, and it takes more water to break that down in the body. We talk to them all the time. About just eating the proper diet, prepare yourself to play," Coach Jones said.

It's not in the playbook, but these young athletes have apparently been drilled about the importance of keeping cool and hydrated.

"If it's too hot, you don't want to go out there and hurt yourself, or get a heat stroke, so you have to keep yourself hydrated and keep yourself cool," said football player Joe Zollicoffer.

"We can get water anytime we want to if we're not in a drill. We take advantage of that every time we can," said Terrance Lewis.